I Used To Be Really Good At Saying ‘No’. What Happened?

Photo credit: Štefan Štefančík via Unsplash

As a 23 year old I worked as a tennis coach at Camp Woodmere near Schroon Lake in New York State. Girls attending this camp enjoyed a summer of great, mostly outdoor activities. Swimming, kayaking, water skiing, archery among them just like tennis.

Of course there were always a couple of girls who tried to get out of these activities. They were not into sports and would much rather have gone to a camp where less time was spend getting either sweaty or wet or both.

This is why they came up with all kinds of excuses and schemes to get out of any kind of activity. And why I got really good at saying ‘NO’. Or when someone was being very persistent I may even have said ‘Read my lips: “N”, “O”, “NO!” (I know! I cringe too when I think of saying that!)

So why was it so easy back then and why am I now learning to use this simple phrase all over again?

Only recently did I post about how I had to rectify a mistake I made, basically because I didn’t say ‘No’ when I should have. You can find that post here: http://buff.ly/1Yd3w9

What happened I guess is that, as I got older I also got more afraid of offending people, of appearing unhelpful or rude? There was a major drawback though: it left me frustrated and unhappy, doing things I didn’t want to be doing!

So I’m practicing saying ‘No’. I once was pretty good at it as were you – just ask your parents what you were like when you were going through your ‘terrible twos’.

I’m not advocating that we all revert back to our, let’s be honest rather terrible, two year old selves. But when we keep a couple of things in mind when we get asked to do something, telling somebody a clear and polite ‘No’ is once again entirely possible.

Ask yourself …

  • Do I really want to do this?
  • Is somebody else’s problem being dropped in my lap?
  • Do I have time to do it?

And then don’t beat around the bush when telling somebody ‘No’. Be clear about what your answer is. You can offer a brief explanation about your why, as long as you do that without – and this is important – including a loophole! Because otherwise they will have heard a ‘Yes’.

We can do this, guys! We’ve got this!!

So how about you?! How do you say ‘No!’? What obstacles, objections, and fears within yourself do you face when you are about to tell somebody ‘No!’?

Share your thoughts below and let me know. Be as specific as you can when you share your thoughts. Other people, Mountain Seekers like you, will be inspired by your ideas and actions.

Please, share only your original thoughts, actions and ideas directly in the comments. Don’t link to other sites, videos, etc. – they come across as spammy and will be removed.

Thank you for reading and adding your voice to the conversation.

As always…

Go dare greatly!